To understand and get a feel of Santiago and its recent development it is a good idea to read some fiction books based on Chile’s last three decades. Exile had and still has strong influence into writer’s life and work.

Jose Donoso’s works indirectly refer to the social and political events of Chile in the 70’s and 80’s. The Space without Limits and Coronacion are two of his best known novels that refer to Chile’s rural reality: Donoso offers vivid descriptions of little dramas with marginal characters that have no interest in integration but only to be happy for a while. La Desesperanza, Donoso's last novel, clearly describes the social ambiance of hopelessness over Pinochet’s government.

One of Chile most acclaimed and popular writers is Isabel Allende. Mrs. Allende bases most of her fiction on Santiago with character centered stories written in an engaging and daring style many referring to the events previous and after Pinochet‘s era. Paula, Eva Luna and The House of the Spirits succeed in blending a political content with Latin American based literaty style known as Magic Realism.

Roberto Bolanos' novels and short stories don’t directly refer to Chile's political and social development, but his fragmentary style and life story reflect the mind of a wanderer/exile spirit. El Gaucho Insufrible, Putas asesinas and The Savage Detectives are some of his most acclaimed works.

Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 for his poetry and one of his houses in Santiago is now a museum dedicated to his work. Some of his work reflects his life long political activism, such as "Spain in Our Hearts" (his account of the Spanish Civil War) while his famous poems on love transcend politics.